The weekend of November 15th and 16th marked a big Sunday for PocketFivers. Members of the site took down the $150K Guaranteed on Absolute Poker, the FTOPS Two-Day Event and Sunday Mulligan on Full Tilt Poker, the Sunday 500 on PokerStars, and the UltimateBet$200K Guaranteed. Emerging victorious in the PokerStarsSunday Second Chance was PocketFiver Chris fisheater111 Walsh, a native of Bethany, Connecticut. He maneuvered his way through 1,484 entrants en route to a $53,000 paycheck for the win. He came into heads-up play with a 2.5:1 chip lead and never took his eye off the prize. Playing aggressively, he bested bigbadray2k and capped off an impressive weekend by PocketFivers.
So what does it feel like to take down your first win in a major poker tournament? Walsh responded, “It feels exciting and motivating. Gambles were going my way and I felt like I had good control of the final table, aggression-wise.” He entered heads-up as a 2.5:1 chip leader and “maintained this lead by raising a bunch from the button and occasionally re-stealing with pretty good hands.” His heads-up play helped him succeed in the long-run. Other PocketFivers who joined Walsh at the final table of the Sunday Second Chance on the 16th were Bonds252525(fifth for $15,582) and wmmcl (seventh for $9,646).
It wasn’t Walsh’s first gander at a major final table. In June, he finished fourth in the $1K Monday on Full Tilt Poker and cashed for $34,000. On his ability to close out the Second Chance, he noted, “I had a good lead and didn’t want to gamble re-shoving with marginal hands. With blinds of 20,000-40,000, he raised to 2.5 times the big blind and I called with rags in effort to outplay on later streets. He had been opening about 80% of buttons, so I knew his range was wide. I believed his C-bet range was nearly just as wide because of his aggressive nature. I checked, he bet 120,000, I check-raised to 277,000, and he folded.” He summed up his heads-up play, saying that the hand was an example of using aggression to win a pot versus the right type of opponent with less risk than shoving pre-flop.
Now a student, Walsh explains how he got started in poker originally: “I started destroying small home tournaments during high school and then learned about internet poker through a few friends during study hall. I’ve been playing ever since.” He told PocketFives.com that his friends and family are mostly supportive, especially his girlfriend. Between classes, he is able to squeeze in about 12 hours of poker on Sundays and 20-30 hours per week in addition.
He’s clearly had success in high-stakes multi-table tournaments. On his basic strategy in events like the Sunday Mulligan, he explained, “I play relatively tight in the beginning blind stages and keep track of my opponents. When the blinds increase, I put more pressure on opponents by looking for strong re-steal spots and other ways to accumulate chips, including standard open raises and continuation bets.”
Other cashes on Walsh’s tournament resume include a win in the $30 rebuy, $22,000 Guaranteed on Full Tilt Poker for $8,752 on October 15th. He took second in the $109 buy-in $50,000 Guaranteed for $7,150 on PokerStars one week earlier. He had a third place showing in the $100 rebuy on PokerStars for nearly $19,000 in June. In tournaments that are tracked for the PocketFives.com Online Poker Rankings, Walsh picked up $25,212 in October. He added, “Final tabling a big event is quite an achievement, but actually winning a continually-running Sunday major is a huge success. Placing in the top nine in the $1K Monday was just another day.” On Friday, November 21st, he picked up a win in the $100 rebuy on Full Tilt for $11,500.
Despite his success, he’s still looking to improve his game going forward. He described what facets of his game still need work: “I’m starting to take more notes and pay attention to table tendencies and dynamics, tightening up a bit with open raising when my stack is about 25 big blinds or less.”
Congratulations to Chris fisheater111Walsh for his win in the Sunday Second Chance.